American Threats to the Free Market

May 8th is international free trade day.

I will give you 4 examples of films based on reality proving that the USA is not a free market.


Food, Inc. (2008)

Nominated for best documentary feature at the Oscars and Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary by the Directors’ Guild of America, this brilliant production is the best in alimentation and food.

Although many of the issues presented are specific to the U.S., the system is similar in other countries. For example, although in some countries in Europe (such as Belgium, Italy, and Hungary), there are very strict regulations for labeling food and what is allowed for aliments to contain, in other countries, it is not, and there is a powerful lobby from the corporations to discard it.

Suppose you will watch it not as a documentary about a situation in the U.S. but about a mechanism transforming worldwide agriculture. In that case, you will discover it is a global problem that will soon start knocking on your door. How people consume food has changed so radically that to satisfy consumers’ desires most profitably, companies have dropped all safety standards and moved them so far beyond conceivable that it might shock you to find out how the food you eat is being produced.

If you want to live, you cannot afford not to care about what you eat. Anything less than gaining awareness means disease or death for you and all your loved ones. So watching this might be your most important decision in a while. This up-to-date take on such a significant issue is approached with maximum professionalism and with a budget which helps get the message across in a creative design.

A must-see. A masterpiece. My rating: 8 / 10.   


Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005)

MV5BMjAyMjYzNjYxN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDE2ODQzMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR9,0,214,317_This is another masterpiece of an American documentary that I totally recommend. Suppose you just substitute “Wal-Mart” with “Carrefour”, “Auchan” or other international retailers. In that case, you will have a clear picture of the effects that the exploitation of small communities has on the local small businesses. The entrepreneurs that sell all kinds of different merchandise go bankrupt when the retailers come into the city because it offers low prices for buyers, but also at the expense of their own employees being humiliated and financially destroyed, not being able to benefit from decent social services insurance.

This is another example of capitalism gone wild, significantly when the business model is expanded in other countries outside the U.S., where the company can get substantial benefits compared to the American market.

Its title is also exciting, as it gets into evidence the economic and human difference between cost and price.

I invite you to watch the trailer, the Roger Ebert endorsement of the film on T.V., and the full movie (low resolution) on YouTube. If you want it in full resolution, I suggest you order it from Amazon.

Official trailer

Roger Ebert’s endorsement of the film


Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

Nominated at the Emmy awards for best picture, screenplay, editing, sound mixing, and casting. You could call it “The Social Network”‘s the little brother. It is the dramatized version of the historical development, contracts, backstabbing, and deals of how personal computers and Windows came to power. The main characters in the film are Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. More accurate than “The Social Network” and more true to reality, the production portrays the seed of a war that is still going on. Watching this, you will understand how things evolved. It is an ironic depiction of capitalist greed (which went unpunished) and the American Dream. It is a must-see for all those who wish to earn money through the internet and putting things into perspective, you could call it a historical movie. Find out how I.T. empires were built!

Although I hate the morals of the main characters, I have to recognize that the actors very effectively portrayed the toughness of the American entrepreneur. Used with discent, it is a tremendous and inspiring power. 

My rating: 7 / 10 (Very good movie)  



The Corporation (2003)

This Canadian documentary is a great watch, especially for students or economic and communication sciences graduates. A brave approach, this logical demonstration of the idea that any corporation, as a concept, is pathologic and has a psychopathic profile would have made me think twice before choosing my line of work.

I would have chosen the same thing, but with more insight and fewer expectations. So far from the intention of demonizing corporations without argumentation, this is a rigorous approach to transnational corporations’ power worldwide, which started in the USA.

The model for extending a corporation as a business model is presented as cancer to modern society. This is not one of those hopeful documentaries, although, in the end, there is hope to bring the power back to the consumers. However, it is not yet too late. We do not have a “Rollerball” society.

The picture has won the Special Jury Award at the  Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival (2003), The Genesis Award for best documentary (2005), The Genie Award for best documentary (2005), the audience award in the “World Cinema – Documentary” section at the International Sundance Independent Film Festival (2004) and at the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival (2004) and “The Most Popular Canadian film” at Vancouver International Film Festival (2004). So prepare yourself to be awarded!

My rating: 7 / 10 (great documentary)

The trailer

And here is the full documentary feature


Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright text © Marcus Victor Grant 2011-present. Updated for publishing in 2021. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved.

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.

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